Record 45% of Iraq and Afghanistan Vets Applying for Disability Benefits

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Army Pfc. Kevin Trimble (Photo: Lisa Krantz, AP)
America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have produced a record number of veterans seeking disability benefits from the federal government.
About 45% of the 1.6 million men and women who served in the two wars have filed claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is more than double the rate of those who fought in the Gulf War (21%).
Many of today’s veterans are also claiming numerous health problems, eight to nine on average, with some claiming as many as 14. Those who fought in World War II and Korea claimed an average of two physical or mental problems, while Vietnam veterans averaged fewer than four.
“It’s unclear how much worse off these new veterans are than their predecessors,” reported the Associated Press. “Many factors are driving the dramatic increase in claims—the weak economy, more troops surviving wounds, and more awareness of problems such as concussions and PTSD. Almost one-third have been granted disability so far.”
According to the AP investigation, 31% of new claims were filed by members of the National Guard or Reserves, while 56% came from full-time Army personnel. Also, 12% of claimants were women.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
Almost Half of New Vets Seek Disability (by Marilynn Marchione, Associated Press)

Veterans Disability Waiting List Doubles under Obama (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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